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  • Hawai'i House Democrats

WOMEN'S LEGISLATIVE CAUCUS HIGHLIGHTS 2023 BILL PACKAGE TO SUPPORT WOMEN, CHILDREN, AND FAMILIES

Measures include human trafficking prevention, domestic violence training, and childcare



Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – On January 25, members of the bipartisan Hawaiʻi Women's Legislative Caucus (WLC) led a panel discussion in collaboration with the YWCA of Oʻahu to present their 2023 legislative package as part of their continuous work to improve the lives of Hawaiʻi's women, children, and families.

"I am grateful to the WLC members and community advocates who came together to work on these measures that will increase the protection and safety of women and children in our state," said Representative Linda Ichiyama. "Ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children remains one of our top priorities. I urge my colleagues to listen to the community voices and support these important measures in the upcoming session."

The package includes the following five bills and one resolution:

  • HB579/SB235 - Establishes a Human Trafficking Prevention Program in the Attorney General’s office, requires reporting on commercial sexual exploitation of children.

  • HB580/SB236 – Expands the victim-counselor privilege under the Hawaiʻi rules of Evidence to include confidential advocates employed by the University of Hawaiʻi.

  • HB581/SB237 - Require custody evaluators to complete a domestic violence training course every three years.

  • HB582/SB238 - Extends the time to file a civil action for childhood sexual abuse to age 50 and allows the court to order a party to undergo trauma-informed training.

  • HB583/SB239 - Establishes a childcare accreditation program within Department of Human Services (DHS) and extends deadline for Preschool Open Doors Program for providers to become accredited.

  • HCR7 - Requests DHS Med-QUEST Division to expand types of providers allowed to provide lactation consultant services.

“Last year, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the late Representative Patsy T. Mink’s landmark Title IX legislation," said Senator Michelle Kidani. "This year, we continue her legacy by further ensuring the safety of our keiki and equal access to resources for those providing integral early childhood care. Please join me in supporting the Women’s Legislative Caucus measures put forth this Legislative Session.”


"As a mother of two young children, I am a strong supporter of our childcare providers,” said Representative Lauren Matsumoto. “Childcare accreditation is an important way to help ensure a safe and high-quality experience for our youngest keiki.”


This year, WLC dedicates its legislative package to former Senator and WLC Co-Convener Roz Baker.


“Our former colleague Roz Baker was a champion for women’s rights and a staunch advocate for our caucus here at the Legislature for over two decades,” noted Senator Lynn DeCoite. “We look forward to continuing her legacy as we aim to implement policy that improves the quality of life for all women and families.”


The Hawaiʻi Women’s Legislative Caucus co-conveners for 2023-2024 are Senators Michelle Kidani (D-18, Mililani Town, portion of Waipi‘o Gentry, Crestview, Waikele, portion of Waipahu, Village Park, Royal Kunia) and Lynn DeCoite (D-7, Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Kaho‘olawe and Molokini), and Representatives Linda Ichiyama (D-31, Salt Lake, Āliamanu, Makalapa, Pearl Harbor) and Lauren Matsumoto (D-38, Portions of Mililani and Waipio Acres, Mililani Mauka).


In the Hawaiʻi State Legislature, there are 19 women Representatives out of 51 members, and 8 women Senators out of 25 members.


See the entire 2023 Women's Legislative Caucus Package here.


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